The Kansas State (6-6-0, 1-2-0 Big 12) soccer team had to overcome not one but two rain delays against in-state rivals Kansas (5-7-1, 0-3-0 Big 12) to secure a 2-1 win on Thursday night.
Before the Wildcats even had a chance to take the field, they had to endure an 85-minute rain delay.
K-State was relentless out of the gates and a long, soaring shot from junior forward Kyler Goins put the Wildcats on the scoreboard in the seventh minute. Kansas goalkeeper Emilie Gavillet was caught slightly off her line and the ball bounced off her glove and into the net.
“I knew it was slick because it was raining, so I was like, ‘OK, maybe if I shoot from right here I might touch on her hands’ and thankfully it did,” Goins said to K-State Athletics. “But was it a shot? Not really. It was more of a cross, but I’m glad it went in.”
The Wildcats continued applying pressure on the Jayhawks, but Kansas managed to rebound in the 36th minute, tying the game at 1-1.
Just before the half, the lights and power went out at Rock Chalk Park and the game was delayed another 25 minutes while the teams waited for the lights to come back on.
After the half, both teams went back and forth, but Kansas ended regulation with an 18-8 shot advantage. Sophomore goalkeeper Alaina Werremeyer had an outstanding performance for K-State, recording 10 saves on the night, setting a career record.
At the 90-minute mark, the two teams were tied 1-1 and went on to play overtime.
With just under two minutes left in the first half of overtime, K-State led an attack into Jayhawk territory. Sophomore midfielder Caylee Thornhill found senior midfielder Brookelynn Entz on the left side of the 18-yard box. Entz attempted to move past a defender but was tackled, and the ball rolled towards the top of the 18-yard box.
Thornhill came flying in with a left-footed shot that curved to hit the right goalpost and bounced into the back of the Kansas net, securing the victory for the Wildcats.
K-State head coach Mike Dibbini was delighted with how his team persevered throughout the night.
“The delays took away a lot of momentum for both sides. But we were able to get back out here and take care of business, and I’m proud of our effort today,” Dibbini to K-State Athletics. “We wanted to disrupt them as much as possible and not let them get into any kind of rhythm, and that’s what we did today. And they probably didn’t expect that. They probably thought we were going to play out of the back a little bit. We can possess a little bit more, but this was what we wanted to do. We watched them through scout and we felt like this is our best chance.”
The Wildcats will return to Buser Family Park for a pair of home games starting Oct. 7 against No. 12 West Virginia for Socctoberfest and Pride Night. The game will kick off at 7 P.M. and will be available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.